Last time out we stepped into 2034 on a run of 59 league games without defeat and having progressed to the knockout stages of the Champions League and into the Italian Cup semi-finals.
Unusually for us, we only saw one player leave the club in January, and even then it was only a loan as young goalkeeper Martin Vega went out to Oviedo. We did, however, bring in two exciting young talents in Italian striker Marco Vitale and German winger Thomas Franken.
The year began with an impressive run of form, with nine consecutive wins in all competitions and 12 straight league wins.
That included a 2-0 win at home to AC Milan in early January, thanks to goals from Alexander Zeller and Bjorn Amler, then a 4-0 win at home to AS Roma, in which Zeller bagged a hat-trick then George Aliyu added a fourth.
That was followed up with another game against Roma, this time in the Italian Super Cup at a snowy San Siro, which delivered exactly the same result. Matteo Giacalone put us ahead with a penalty inside six minutes, Zeller and Amler added goals before half-time and sub striker Arnaud Liebart added a fourth in injury-time.
The Italian Cup semi-finals saw us take on Inter Milan and, as always in the cup, I put a second eleven out. Surprisingly, we won the home leg 1-0 with a Filippo Febbrasio goal on the stroke of half-time, but we got thumped 4-1 in the return game.
Our strong league form saw us wrap up an 11th straight Serie A title at the end of April with six matches remaining.
And we continued the good form to see us through to the end of the season yet again unbeaten – making it two seasons and 79 matches without a league defeat.
Our domination of Serie A saw us pick up a flurry of player awards, including Zeller – who has become an incredible player – winning Serie Player of the Year.
First up in the Champions Cup knockout stages we were handed a clash with FC Bayern in the first knockout round.
We scored twice in the first ten minutes of the home leg through Aliyu and an own goal, and held onto that lead. Then we went to Munich and earned a 2-2 draw to progress with goals from exciting young winger Febbrasio and centre-back Gabriele D’Alessandro.
More German opposition was next as we faced Bayer Leverkusen, and the tie was all but over after the first leg in Germany. We romped to a 4-0 victory thanks to first-half goals from captain Timmi Uldbjerg, Amler and Aliyu then a last minute goal from Febbrasio. The second leg was tighter but Febbrasio was again on the scoresheet as we drew 1-1 and eased into the semi-finals.
And we were joined there by three French sides, and we were drawn with Lyon while Marseille faced off against Paris Saint-Germain. We started well with a strong 2-0 victory in Lyon with two goals in three minutes late in the second half from Uldbjerg and Zeller. Then we took control in the home leg giving Lyon a 5-1 thumping. Zeller got things started early on, Lyon got back into it early in the second half, but Aliyu put us back in front before the floodgates opened with an Amler brace before Zeller followed suit.
That took us into the final and an opportunity for retribution against PSG, who’d thumped us in last season’s semi-finals. And we delivered it in fine style. A cagey first-half saw the sides go in 0-0 at half-time, but a trademark long-range strike from Uldbjerg put us ahead within four minutes of the restart. His midfield partner Giacalone repeated the trick 17 minutes later and we wrapped up the win with a late goal from Zeller.
This impressive win wrapped up a Quadruple of European Super Cup, Italian Super Cup, Serie A and Champions Cup. Taking us to 5 European Super Cups, 6 Italian Super Cups, 11 Serie A titles and 5 Champions Cup wins.
Unsurprisingly, Uldbjerg topped our average ratings with 7.67 in 45 appearances, narrowly ahead of Zeller’s 7.66. Amler was our top scorer with 27 goals in all competitions and was one of four players to score 20 or more, alongside Aliyu, Zeller and central midfielder Giacalone, while Uldbjerg and Febbrasio chipped in with 15 and 13 respectively.
Our global domination led to Giacalone become the first player in our history to win the Best Player in Europe award.
I also topped the European Hall of Fame for the first time, having already previously been crowned the best manager of all-time in the Worldwide rankings.
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